Uhuru sets aside Ksh1.7 billion for healthcare as coronavirus numbers hit 1,192

President Uhuru Kenyatta. [Photo courtesy]

An additional 5,000 health workers with a diploma and certificate qualification will be hired to help in combating COVID-19 in the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

While giving an address on his 8 – Point Economic Stimulus Programme to cushion the economy from a further beating by the pandemic on Saturday at State House, Uhuru said Ksh1.7 billion has been set aside for public hospitals across the country.

The money will be used to hire extra health workers and increase bed capacity across the hospitals.

This comes as medics raise concern over delayed hiring of health workers in the wake of an increasing number of coronavirus cases.

In a statement last week the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) called on the State to make haste and hire healthcare workers. The government had advertised 5,000 positions in early April.

The president also pledged to have more funds allocated to research institutions in a bid “to generate new innovations that will help us with coronavirus and other diseases.”

He also announced that 31 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours raising the total to 1,192.

“We have so far tested 57,640 samples of which 1192 persons have tested positive and lost 50 Kenyans to this disease,” said President Uhuru.

He announced that the number of fatalities are still 50.

In an undertone that could suggest that he will open the economy once more by lifting lockdown, Uhuru said that they are weighing their options.

“I have told my Cabinet Secretaries that we cannot stay in lockdown forever. But if we open up the country by lifting the restrictions and the virus continues to spread, it will be our fault for not taking the precautions outlined,” stated Uhuru.

“Let us remain true to our countries. We know that many Kenyans are hurting but we do not have a choice but ensure that we deal with this disease,” he said.